Category: Articles

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From Spreadsheets to System Dynamics Models

Decision-makers often turn to computer models when they face a problem too “big” to grasp all at once. Having the computer keep track of…

Liberating Structures: A New Pattern Language for Engagement

“We change the culture by changing the nature of conversation. It’s about choosing conversations that have the power to create the future.” — Peter…

Learning Through System Dynamics as Preparation for the 21st Century

What should be the outcome of a systems education? We do not expect most students to spend their lives in front of a computer…

Action-to-Outcome Mapping: Testing Strategy with Systems Thinking

In the “classic” systems thinking approach, a group uses mapping and modeling to help explain an important behavior over time. While we occasionally encounter…

Toyota’s Current Crisis: The Price of Focusing on Growth Not Quality

For the past 15 years or so, I have told audiences a story about how my perception of what determines good business performance has…

From Riots to Resolution: Engaging Conflict for Reconciliation

As members of communities and organizations, many people feel their days (and their energy!) being consumed by contentious conflicts between diverse stakeholder groups. Organizations…

The World Cafe: Living Knowledge Through Conversations That Matter

Consider all the learning that occurs as people move from place to place inside and outside an organization, carrying insights and ideas from one…

The Structure of Paradox: Managing Interdependent Opposites

When faced with a problem, how often do teams within your organization become polarized around proposed solutions that are opposites? For example, one group…

The “AND” Method

TEAM TIP Apply this method to anticipate— and avoid—unintended consequences before taking action. Irecently read an article by Daniel Aronson called “Targeted…

Balancing Loops with Delays

A simple balancing loop can be thought of as a basic control loop. In this type of feedback loop, any discrepancies between desired…